Every parking lot owner knows how detrimental the cold weather can be for their asphalt surface. Winter maintenance is vital for the health and longevity of your parking lot, as well as for the safety of those using it. At Wright Construction, we recommend going about winter maintenance in two different ways: preventative maintenance and defensive maintenance.
Preventative Parking Lot Maintenance for Winter
The first part of protecting your parking lot during winter is performing preventative maintenance before the temperatures begin dropping.
1. Crack Filling
Any cracks in your asphalt create higher chances of damage during the winter, as they allow water to easily penetrate the surface and freeze. You can purchase a high-quality crack filling kit or call a Wright Construction near you to properly prepare your parking lot for the winter months.
2. Fill Potholes
Like cracks, potholes allow water to seep into the asphalt and cause damage once freezing temperatures hit. Most asphalt mixes require warmth to cure and become flexible; if winter is steadily approaching, invest in a cold-mix asphalt to patch any potholes in your parking lot.
3. Drainage Inspection
When winter arrives, any snowfall will gather on your parking lot, eventually melting into water. Schedule a drainage inspection to ensure that when the snow melts, it has an efficient method of drainage. Still water on the surface of your asphalt can cause damage in freezing weather.
Asphalt sealant should be applied in weather no colder than 50 degrees. This simple maintenance habit can double the life of your surface while acting as a barrier between moisture and freezing temperatures.
Defensive Parking Lot Maintenance for Winter
Defensive parking lot maintenance is performed during the winter months – the following are daily habits you can implement into your routine to keep your parking lot safe and reliable all winter.
1. Removing Snow
Not only does removing snow daily keep vehicles and drivers safe while they’re using the parking lot, but it also protects the parking lot itself. Remember: the more snow or ice on the surface of your parking lot, the more melted water can seep into the asphalt and cause damage.
2. Melting Ice
Ice on the surface of your parking lot poses a large threat to drivers and those walking on the asphalt. Keep in mind that many chemicals used for melting ice can damage your asphalt. Avoid melting mixes that contain ammonium; instead, look for a mix composed mainly of calcium. Call a Wright Construction near you with any questions on asphalt-friendly melting mixes.
3. Cleaning the Parking Lot
Litter is never a good look for your parking lot – or the environment. Trash on your surface poses a threat to snowplows, vehicles, and your asphalt. Litter debris can become freeze-bonded to tires, leading to potential accidents. When covered in snow, litter can unknowingly get trapped beneath a snowplow and become ground into the asphalt.